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Google Street View Car  (Source: Google)
Investigation centers on capture of Wi-Fi data

Google's Street View has raised the ire of the U.S. and foreign governments on more than a few occasions. The Street View service sends a fleet of cars out to drive down roads around the country and shoot images as a driver would see them.

Google has found itself in hot water in South Korea over the capture of data from Wi-Fi users by its Street View vehicles. South Korean law enforcement has stated that the data collection was related to the launch of Street View within South Korea.

A statement was released by the Korean National Police Agency stating,"[The police] have been investigating Google Korea LLC on suspicion of unauthorized collection and storage of data on unspecified Internet users from Wi-Fi networks."

South Korea isn’t the only place that Google has been met with legal proceedings over the collection of data by Street View vehicles. Reports first surfaced in Europe concerning the data capture issue – Google maintains that the collection of data by the fleet from unsecured wireless networks was an accident maintains.

Google has provided the copied data to European regulators for investigation.

Canadian authorities have also launched a probe into the capture of Wi-Fi data from unprotected networks within its borders. Google has also been hit with lawsuits in the U.S. that stem from collecting similar data in America.

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By p4ndiamond on 8/10/2010 11:22:49 AM , Rating: 0
Google fails to the max. It only wants to control everything. I said for years google will not be a good thing. Why do you thing facebook connects with everything now.

RE: Fail
By neogrin on 8/10/2010 12:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
I said for years google will not be a good thing. Why do you thing facebook connects with everything now.

What does Facebook have to do with Google?

(fyi: Google does not own Facebook )

RE: Fail
By p4ndiamond on 8/10/2010 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 1
Plenty, Google cached everyones facebook profile. They had to colaborate in order to do that. Even if you set to private they will still have those profiles because you get to set that option after the fact instead of beforehand

RE: Fail
By FaceMaster on 8/10/2010 6:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they have malicious intentions. They have my full support when it comes to projects like these, and I can't help but pity Google when their efforts are hindered when people cry copyright on youtube, or when somebody cheating on their wife sues Google for having a picture of him having an affair on Streetview.

Google has brought the world forward in so many areas, it has the money to sustain youtube, one of the largest video archives in the WHOLE WORLD. It has Google Maps, it has streetview so that you can visit anywhere you like. The Google Search is fantastic, and you get all this FOR FREE.

The world would be a more boring and primitive place with out Google, my only regret is that there aren't more companies like them.

RE: Fail
By mindless1 on 8/10/2010 8:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Google stepped in to fill a need BUT it was inevitable that mankind develop these types of sites and services.

Similar situation to MS, we could credit them with the evolution of the PC, but without them it would have happened anyway.

The real question is are we better off for having companies like these that stifle innovation by reducing profit potential for young upstarts? I think not.

Google didn't bring the world forward, they made a dollar from giving the public what they demanded. If not for Google it would have been Yahoo or some other... people put work into what pays off in real dollars and cents.

RE: Fail
By stirfry213 on 8/10/2010 12:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
My question is, what possible use could collecting this data be good for? I don't see the connection between Street View and WiFi data. It was likely junk data anyways, people browsing pr0n or worse... facebook. Besides, anyone transmitting anything of serious value on an unsecured network is an idiot.

Were they planning on releasing a list of WiFi SSIDs? How would that create anything but trouble for them? I just don't understand why this was implemented in the first place.

RE: Fail
By Schrag4 on 8/10/2010 12:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The conspiracy theorist in me (we all have one, admit it) suggests to me that they were doing dirty work for some US Govt agency. Let's have some fun with this and submit your speculations!

Maybe the street-view-vehicles in the US were looking for some specific russian-made networking hardware to try to find more of those russian spies!

RE: Fail
By stirfry213 on 8/10/2010 12:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have to admit I considered the more nefarious uses of this information. If that's the case, why would they have made public the fact that they obtained it in the first place? From it seems, they could have held on to the information and likely little would have happened. Like I stated, it just doesn't make sense.

RE: Fail
By mindless1 on 8/10/2010 8:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
They made it public because they are going to offer services that would obviously be using such data, otherwise there was no point in collecting the data in the first place.

RE: Fail
By petrosy on 8/10/2010 7:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
They were collecting information for their Alien Overlords... once all teh wifi data has been harvested the invasion can commence....

Die you pitiful humans!!!!

RE: Fail
By mindless1 on 8/10/2010 8:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that above all else Google sells ads. The more they know about their audience the more valuable ad space is in targeting people, and even when they can't monetize a set of data they can still use it as a web service to keep people using Google, keeping visitor count higher so they still serve up more ads.

You are incorrect that anyone transmitting anything of serious valule on an unsecured network is an idiot. That's why we have application level encryption. If someone wants your valuable data and you don't have THAT, it is a trivial thing to hook a black box up to your telephone or cable line - wifi isn't significant except from the perspective of lan client vulnerability for purposes of infection, or direct data theft from lan data stores.

Granted, a black box requires more physical interaction and cost, but if it is "valulable" data, it would be a targeted attack, you can't just sit outside someone's house all week 24/7 just in case the guy "might" visit his bank website at some point.

RE: Fail
By Lazarus Dark on 8/10/2010 6:47:19 PM , Rating: 3
I was under the impression they were maybe making a database of open wifi, which would be great to have, no more wardriving, just check google and go to the open wifi.

If you left it open, its your fault, its the same as puting up a open house sign and leaving your front door open.

Everything else google may have gotten is encrypted. Now if they tried to break that encryption, THAT would be some serious stuff. Otherwise, just collecting open wifi info or even open wifi data is fine with me.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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